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Television Commercials (1950s-1960s)

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Television Commercials (1950s-1960s)

by Various

Publication date ca. 1950s - 1960s
Digitizing sponsor Various
Examples of broadcast advertising from the 1950s and 1960s.


From the Taylor Hardwick collection.



Reviewer: PublicDomainInfo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 27, 2013
Subject: Never serve a dull, soggy ickle to Granny!
The Heinz pickle commercial was off the charts... just begged for a rather intense mashup.
Reviewer: maximvandervelde - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 5, 2013
Subject: Very Nice
I loved the commercials..........
Reviewer: gtryhtytu - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 21, 2012
Subject: featuring
The Coke commercial featuring the Chaparall and the Cobra really made my day. Nice to see a contemporary view of these innovative cars.
Reviewer: The_Emperor_Of_Television - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 27, 2012
Subject: First-rate
Personally, I didn't care for the Alka-Seltzer commercials, but I really enjoyed the commercials for products like Lustre-Creme (brought back as a retro-novelty product from what I've heard), Dristan, Colt 45, American Gothic Corn Flakes (oops, I mean New Country Corn Flakes), and of course the Tijuana-Cola (oops, I mean Coca-Cola) commercial.
Reviewer: Htos1 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 18, 2011
Subject: The T-Bones!
That's definately the band,The T-Bones doind the soundtrack of the Alka Seltzer commercial.I love that band have authentic vinyl from the Sunset label,and had it digitally restored a while back.I have the studio version of that song,"No Mater",used in the commercial.
Reviewer: asker - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 8, 2011
Subject: Public domain - but what about the trademarks
Hi -
these commercials are categorized as being public domain...

I'd like to use them for a film project -
but what about the trademark rights?? (Marlboro etc.)

Can anybody comment on this?
Provide a helpful link?

thx _
Reviewer: pizza2 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 16, 2010
Subject: Retor Commercials
The sad thing is that I remembered most of these commercials when they weren't retro.
Reviewer: edwardfrebow - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 24, 2010
Subject: Lustre Creme Shampoo Commercials: The Movie Star Collection
Lust read a blog post on the Lustre Creme Shampoo Commercials: The Movie Star Collection that had video embeded in it. I really enjoyed watching the old commercials and seeing how the stars were used to push products back then.
Reviewer: babe917 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 21, 2009
Subject: geat collection!!
im not sure which one is my favorite, they're all good! the cornflakes & charlotte rae were a perfect start and ending for this! fun collection!
Reviewer: bellhead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 9, 2009
Subject: Superb collection.
These are really engaging, and any more would be welcome. You can see they were designed to entertain, not just quickly capture your attention.
Reviewer: chuck2-61 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 29, 2008
That's my mother, Margaret Edwards Perkins, playing the straight-laced farmer's wife in this goofy and legendary (in our family, at least) commerical from the early 1960's. It was filled in NYC where she did a number of product advertisements during that era. When I was a kid, she'd occasionally sing the song and we'd all giggle (one could never forget a weird jingle like that). Unlike the dour woman portrayed in this send-up of American Gothic, my mom was a funny and lively individual who eventually shifted her creative focus from acting to poetry. She passed away in 2002.

A final funny note: Mom was about 5'11" and she claimed that the actor playing the farmer had to stand on a platform to be taller than her in the commercial.
--C. Perkins
Reviewer: dbrew2u - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 16, 2008
Subject: Different Day
Life was indeed simpler back in the day.These ads reflect just how simple it was.Now it's more complicated and faster paced than ever.Say what you will about how corny some of these commercials may be.But we're still watching and seem to enjoy them and not just for historic reasons either.They are considerably more entertaining than what your seeing posed as entertaining today.Marketing people should take note.
Reviewer: gardenwife - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 28, 2008
Subject: No man around!
Wow, how things have changed. :) This series of ads really shows the changes we've witnessed in male female roles, the views of a network's responsibilities for providing family-safe entertainment, and so much more. Interesting perspective.
Reviewer: Robin_1990 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 21, 2008
Subject: Charming collection of commercials!
Some of the commercials in this video are brilliant, I love the "New Country Corn Flakes" commercial, it's corny in a good way! These commercials are so charming and innocent that they almost make me nostalgic for the 60's (Almost, but then I remember what my parents told me). The "Bactine" commercial is quite clever, and the idea could still be used today. Overall, worth downloading.
Reviewer: justinwstephens - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 21, 2007
Subject: Montgomery Clift for Alka Seltzer
Actor Montgomery Clift (d. 1969) doing the voiceover for Alka_Seltzer (around the 17 minute mark).
Reviewer: johhnyblade49 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 17, 2007
Subject: what a memory trip!
This is a GREAT collection! I really liked the Coke ads, and the second I saw the guy on the beach with the table & chair, I knew it was for Colt 45! I have been searching for a Marlboro ad for some time now, this one will fit the bill
Reviewer: Landry - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 8, 2007
Subject: Love the Chaparral
The Coke commercial featuring the Chaparall and the Cobra really made my day. Nice to see a contemporary view of these innovative cars.
Reviewer: anticon68 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 27, 2006
Subject: facts of life
It is Charolette Rae of "The Facts of Life" in the shower scene. Great string of comercials makes me want to shave and smoke a marlboro all at the same time.
Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 9, 2006
Subject: Now fun to watch
I only remember 3 of the commercials. Most of them were made when I was in high school. Not as high tech as now, but some of the older commercials had a lot of creativity and humour. (One of the commercial in the collection was shown twice.)
Reviewer: dorcus - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 6, 2005
Subject: anacin?
did I miss something? where was the anacin ad? dristan yes. anacin, I don't think so.

I was looking for the ad that dramatized a headache with an animated hammer pounding an anvil and 2 other cartoons like that. Haven't found it yet, though.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 5, 2005
Subject: ItÃÂÃÂs like taking a trip to Arizona!
I thought I wouldnÃÂÃÂt enjoy these series of commercials as I did the early commercial lot that is on here that cover the 50ÃÂÃÂs, but these are comparable and even more enjoyable then the Classic Television Commercials. I really loved some of the little flourishes they put in, such as the ÃÂÃÂBingoÃÂÃÂ song in the spot for TV accountability, that insane swoop jingle for the shampoo cream, and the ridiculous assertion that an airline stewardess drinks Coca Cola non stop. Giggles Galore when the announcer says she buys a lot of Coke. Yikes! Just want to say, before I chug back a bottle of Anacin, and head off to Arizona (or further), that this is a MUST SEE on this site!
Reviewer: Klark Kent 007 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 6, 2005
Subject: Frees, not Welles
I believe the voice over on the Amoco ad is actually Paul Frees, and not Orson Welles. These two were commonly mistaken for each other within their voice over work.
Reviewer: DocHarris - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 9, 2004
Subject: Dropping A Couple Other Names
As long as we're dropping names (and yes, that's definitely Gene Wilder on the Alka-Seltzer ad), Orson Welles is doing the voiceover for Amoco and Dick Cavett is speaking for the National Association of Broadcasters.
Reviewer: berberry - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 6, 2004
Subject: Great opening
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the commercial that opens this set. It's for General Mills' "Country Corn Flakes", with the emphasis on "corn": corny song and lyrics, corny cartoon, corny cereal. A running spoof of Grant Wood's famous 'American Gothic' is interspersed with cartoons of a pig and chicken that intermittently cluck and moo.

The collection is well worth the download for this ad alone. Some of the other ads are also entertaining, particularly the one for Heinz pickles.
Reviewer: huskobon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 4, 2004
Subject: I love this!
I love this old CM's they really show me the stuff I never saw, and it's so much fun to see how CM's were done back then!
Reviewer: tanne - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 1, 2004
Subject: Some real classics
These ads really bring me back! The Dristan "send your sinuses to Arizona" ad seems to have been either made or inspired by the "Hertz puts you in the driver's seat" people. Cheesy special effects like that were a fad in the early '60s the same way the "Matrix" special effects are in ads today. I clearly remember the Television Code ad! The Goodyear ad is so sexist, designed to make men think that if they didn't buy Goodyear tires for their woman, she'd be stuck alone in the rain and God only knows what might happen to her...Wonder if you can still write that stewardess and ask her about Coke...Note: The figure skater in the "sports" version of the Coke ad is Barbara Ann Scott, the 1948 Olympic champion, who was about 35 at the time the ad was made...The Bactine face-wash ads are absurdly sexy, as is the classic "Stripper" ad for Noxema shave cream...the "blahs" ad for Alka-Seltzer is amazingly comparable to today's Zoloft ads (yesterday we took antacid for "the blahs," today we have antidepressants!)... the Heinz Pickles ad is pretty risque for its time...and yes, I think that woman in the shower IS Charlotte Rae! Good collection!
Reviewer: mndean - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 14, 2004
Subject: No Matter What Shape...
The first Alka-Seltzer ad (NOT the "blahs" ad) has a charming bouncy little pop instrumental that actually went on to be a hit in early 1966 under the title No Matter What Shape (You're Stomach's In) by the T-bones. Just a point of interest. Otherwise a fun collection of mid-60's commercials (I remember seeing most of these as a child).
Reviewer: NJ_Dave - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 27, 2003
Subject: What they said...
To add to all the astute comments --
I remember these Noxzema ads and, vividly, their "striptease" jingle. I can't imagine anyone shaving so recklessly -- he'd better not have a blade in that razor! I agree about Charlotte Rae (definitely) and Gene Wilder (also definitely), and I believe Herschel Bernardi is narrating the VW spot.
Besides Wilder, the "blahs" ad is notable for two things: one, the notion that mild depression can be treated with an antacid/analgesic (as someone noted previously), and two, like a magician it reveals the trick while using it on the audience ("You know, we wouldn't have invented a disease unless we had something to take for it").
Reviewer: emmdub - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 10, 2003
Subject: definitely worth a look!
These are fun and fascinating... and I wanted to add that I'm pretty sure Gene Wilder is the narrator of the Alka-Seltzer "blahs" ad.
Reviewer: mjwise - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 22, 2003
Subject: Interesting finds...
This is an interesting set of commercials. Say what you may about the blatant sexuality selling today -- I don't see much difference here. The Bactine face wash commercials are so blatantly sexual in tone it's ridiculous. Also of note are what was probably one of the very last TV commercials for cigarettes, a Country Corn Flakes commercial with an almost unbelievably annoying jingle, and Lustre Creme which looks more like something you put on toast and not in your hair. It's interesting to see Alka Selzer marketed as an all-purpose tonic as well. The Colt 45 commercials actually didn't seem all that dated -- if anything, the Mountain Dew commercials of more recent times seem heavily derivative of these Colt 45 commercials. And the massive double-entendre pickle commercial, well, I'll just let you watch that one for yourself.

However, the most interesting thing by FAR is the final commercial, one for oil heating. It's average, but an astute observer will notice the exhibitionistic housewife is almost certainly played by none other than Charlotte Rae who played Mrs. Garrett on the Facts of Life in the early 80's! I'm about 99% convinced it's her albeit much younger with dark, short hair. Familiar people can pop up in some odd places...
Reviewer: Bamaboy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 3, 2003
Subject: Good stuff
These ads really give an idea of how far the slick commercials of today have come since the 1960's. These ads are simple, simply because they are from a simpler time.

The Marlboro man is featured in one spot, in what has to be one of the last TV tobacco comercials. "Send your sinus to Arizona" advises the Dristan commercial, and makes me really think that I can. The jingle on the Country Corn Flakes was a little much after the first twenty seconds. The B-I-N-G-O commercial for the television code is priceless. I wonder what the ever vigilant Television code folks who were so busy protecting kids from the "visions of bad men" would say to the primetime television programs we have today? Before Coke became the "real thing", the Coca-Cola company advised us that "things go better with Coke after Coke after Coke". The baseball players, cowboys, and racecar drivers prove it by living life to it's fullest right before your eyes. I liked the cool 60's gentleman sittling in the middle of the runway waiting for his Colt 45 Malt Liquor to be airdropped to his table. Meanwhile at the Volkswagen plant, 7000 people are making sure that Volkswagens are being put together properly. The Volkswagen commercial had a very "German" feel to it, what with all of the inspectors lined up dressed identically. The Alka-Seltzer commercial gave me the creeps. What do you do when your animated head comes off? Take Alka-Seltzer...Cures the "Blah's" everytime. Heinz Pickles are the answer for pickle lovers who hate soggy pickles. I'm sure the oil heat commercial featuring the exhibitionist-like housewife got the attention of the teenage boys who saw it.

I wonder how some of these made it to the screen, but for the most part, these are really good stuff.
Reviewer: Asparagirl - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 24, 2002
Subject: Fun collection of ads
This is a collection of TV ads apparently from the mid-1960's--apparently from 1966-1967, to be exact, judging from some of the ads' contents.

Some highlights (not the full list):

- an adorable ad for "New Country Corn Flakes!" with a great jingle

- an Alka Seltzer all about people's varying tummy sizes and shapes

- two Luster Creme shampoo commercials

- and ad all about that particular station adhering to the television code's seal of good practice in selecting its programming and commercials, to the scenes of a little boy singing "B-I-N-G-O"

- an incredibly sexist ad from Goodyear tire. A woman alone on the highway at night gets a flat: "This flat tire needs a man.." She runs alone in the night to a gas station's phone booth, looking scared. "But, when there's no man around...Goodyear should be!"

- a Coca Cola ad showing how it helps a TWA flight attendant--sorry, back then it was stewardess--get through her busy day, which "requires a lot of charm"

- two Colt 45 beer ads

- a Volkswagon Beetle ad!

- an ad about "the print explosion in art today" being used as patterns for women's fashions (those 60's patterned dresses, a la Pucci)--this ad is repeated twice, once in black and white and once in color

- two slightly bizarre Bactine face cleanser ads, both employing the most blatant use of sex appeal to sell facial cleanser I've ever seen

- several Marlboro men (cowboys) enjoying cigarettes "where the flavor is" in Marlboro Country

- an unitentionally suggestive Heinz pickle ad featuring a little old lady
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